Feb 22, 2012 7:03am
Re: U.S. Congress destroys the National Labor Relations Board!
You are welcome! Why are workers around the world so pissed off at rich people and the greedy one percent? Greedy billionaires are making excess profits during a severe global financial crisis. What does the CEO of Apple's Partner, Foxconn, think about its electronics and internet workers in China?
Terry Gou - head of Foxconn
'Managing One Million Animals Gives Me A Headache'
by Henry Blodget | Business Insider | January 19, 2012
Billionaire Terry Gou is the head of Hon Hai (Foxconn). Foxconn is the largest contract manufacturer in the world. According to WantChinaTimes, Terry Gou had this to say at a recent meeting with his senior managers: "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million [human beings] worldwide. Human beings are also animals. To manage one million animals gives me a headache!" Gou spoke these words at a recent year-end party. He added that he wants to learn from Chin Shih-chien, the director of the Taipei Zoo, regarding how animals should be managed. Gou not only invited Chin to take part in his company's annual review meeting but also asked all general managers in the group to listen to Chin's lecture, according to the local Common Wealth magazine.
Your iPhone Was Built, In Part, By 13 Year-Olds Working 16 Hours A Day For 70 Cents An Hour
by Henry Blodget | Business Insider | January 15, 2012
This issue concerns a lot more companies than Apple. Almost all of the major electronics manufacturers make their devices in China and other countries that have labor practices that would be illegal in the United States. One difference with Apple, though, is the magnitude of the company's profit margin and profits. Apple could afford to pay its manufacturers more. Apple could hold them to higher standards and still be extremely competitive and profitable.
It's disconcerting to remember that the low prices of our iPhones and iPads — and the super-high profit margins of Apple — are only possible because our iPhones and iPads are made with labor practices that would be illegal in the United States.
And it's also disconcerting to realize that the folks who make our iPhones and iPads not only don't have iPhones and iPads (because they can't afford them), but, in some cases, have never even seen them.
Here are some details about Foxconn's workers that the mainstream press is refusing to report to you:
Foxconn dormitories - Shenzhen, China
• The Chinese city of Shenzhen is where most of our "crap" is made. 30 years ago, Shenzhen was a little village on a river. Now it's a city of 13 million people — bigger than New York.
• Foxconn, one of the companies that builds iPhones and iPads (and products for many other electronics companies), has a factory in Shenzhen that employs 430,000 people.
• There are 20 cafeterias at the Foxconn Shenzhen plant. They each serve 10,000 people.
• One Foxconn worker Mike Daisey interviewed, outside factory gates manned by guards with guns, was a 13-year old girl. She polished the glass of thousands of new iPhones a day.
• The 13-year old said Foxconn doesn't really check ages. There are on-site inspections, from time to time, but Foxconn always knows when they're happening. And before the inspectors arrive, Foxconn just replaces the young-looking workers with older ones.
• In the first two hours outside the factory gates, Daisey meets workers who say they are 14, 13, and 12 years old (along with plenty of older ones). Daisey estimates that about 5% of the workers he talked to were underage.
• Daisey assumes that Apple, obsessed as it is with details, must know this. Or, if they don't, it's because they don't want to know.
• Daisey visits other Shenzhen factories, posing as a potential customer. He discovers that most of the factory floors are vast rooms filled with 20,000 - 30,000 workers apiece. The rooms are quiet: There's no machinery, and there's no talking allowed. When labor costs so little, there's no reason to build anything other than by hand.
• A Chinese working "hour" is 60 minutes — unlike an American "hour," which generally includes breaks for Facebook, the bathroom, a phone call, and some conversation. The official work day in China is 8 hours long, but the standard shift is 12 hours. Generally, these shifts extend to 14-16 hours, especially when there's a hot new gadget to build. While Daisey is in Shenzhen, a Foxconn worker dies after working a 34-hour shift.
• Assembly lines can only move as fast as their slowest worker, so all the workers are watched (with cameras). Most people stand.
• The workers stay in dormitories. In a 12-by-12 cement cube of a room, Daisey counts 15 beds, stacked like drawers up to the ceiling. Normal-sized Americans would not fit in them.
• Unions are illegal in China. Anyone found trying to unionize is sent to prison.
• Daisey interviews dozens of (former) workers who are secretly supporting a union. One group talked about using "hexane," an iPhone screen cleaner. Hexane evaporates faster than other screen cleaners, which allows the production line to go faster. Hexane is also a neuro-toxin. The hands of the workers who tell him about it shake uncontrollably.
• Some workers can no longer work because their hands have been destroyed by doing the same thing hundreds of thousands of times over many years (mega-carpal-tunnel). This could have been avoided if the workers had merely shifted jobs. Once the workers' hands no longer work, obviously, they're canned.
• One former worker had asked her company to pay her overtime, and when her company refused, she went to the labor board. The labor board put her on a black list that was circulated to every company in the area. The workers on the black list are branded "troublemakers" and companies won't hire them.
• One man got his hand crushed in a metal press at Foxconn. Foxconn did not give him medical attention. When the man's hand healed, it no longer worked. So they fired him. (Fortunately, the man was able to get a new job, at a wood-working plant. The hours are much better there, he says — only 70 hours a week).
• The man, by the way, made the metal casings of iPads at Foxconn. Daisey showed him his iPad. The man had never seen one before. He held it and played with it. He said it was "magic."
Feb 23, 2012 6:13am
Re: U.S. Congress destroys the National Labor Relations Board!
Re: the Nightline "news" story — "Foxconn is not like working anywhere else. Safety nets were installed between buildings after a spate of workers committed suicide in 2010. Apple CEO Tim Cook, then Apple's COO, flew to Shenzhen following the series of suicides and put together a team of experts to examine the issue. These experts recommended installing safety nets. There have been 18 worker suicides at Foxconn since 2010. According to Nightline, this is well below China's national average."
Nightline runs on ABC-TV. Disney owns and operates the ABC broadcast television network. This Nightline show is owned and operated by The Disney Company. Will they continue reporting this story, and will they continue this conversation?
Suicides are prevalent amongst Foxconn workers. Most of them have leaped to their deaths very publicly, committing suicide on the job. Dangerous working conditions caused several of them to get killed on May 20, 2011 in a huge Foxconn plant explosion. Three internet workers died on the job for Foxconn in Chengdu, China - killed in an explosion on Apple's i-Pad2 production line. The explosion was due to an unsafe build-up of fine aluminum dust that comes from polishing Apple's devices. This explosion has been thoroughly investigated, documented, and ignored! Foxconn Technology Group's slave workers are The People manufacturing most of the internet devices we are using!
Below, a man walks past a building surrounded by safety netting at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, also known as Foxconn city, in Shenzhen, China. Photographer: Forbes Conrad | Bloomberg
• Foxconn and Apple installed anti-suicide safety nets for their workers •
Apple Press Info — Tim Cook, CEO
Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its Board of Directors.
Before being named CEO in August 2011, Tim was Apple's Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Prior to joining Apple, Tim was vice president of Corporate Materials for Compaq and was responsible for procuring and managing all of Compaq’s product inventory. Previous to his work at Compaq, Tim was the chief operating officer of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics.
I, Monte Barry, am 60 years old. I taped the Grateful Dead numerous times in 1973, beginning on June 9 and 10, at RFK Stadium. The Grateful Dead used Ampex audio tape decks dozens of times to record their SBDs, albums, and other commercial releases. I also taped many other bands in the mid-1970s. I worked 3 years as a soundman through 1976. Then I worked for Ampex for 6 years, beginning in 1979. Ampex invented the videotape recorder in 1955.
Awards for Technical Excellence issued to Ampex for products and technology Ampex developed during the period 1957 - 1990 include eleven Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and an Oscar.
Alembic developed and produced much of the equipment that was used by the Grateful Dead for their famous "wall of sound" PA System in 1973 and 1974. Ron Wickersham, one of Alembic's founders, worked previously as an audio engineer for Ampex. Alembic is best known for making fine modern guitars and basses.
Apple's safety nets at Foxconn plants
I've worked over 30 years in electronics. Ampex never had any explosions in their main Audio-Video Systems Division factory in Colorado Springs. I worked in this factory. It was 239,000 square feet. Ampex workers were not getting killed there on the job. Ampex had other manufacturing plants and buildings that operated in Redwood City, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale, California. We never installed any anti-suicide safety nets around any of the Ampex buildings.
Ampex Magnetic Tape Division was headquartered in Opelika, Alabama. This made Ampex a manufacturer of both tape recorders and magnetic tape. Ampex's taping products were much in demand by top audio and video recording studios worldwide. Ampex factories operated for many years during the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. I worked in Colorado for Ampex as a factory electronics technician for 3 years. I also worked 3 more years with Ampex as a field service engineer in the NYC area. Ampex workers were not severely stressed out and subjected to harsh working conditions. In fact, no Ampex workers ever committed suicide due to these reasons.
Ampex technicians and engineers were and are very highly regarded by Broadcasters, Cable TV Networks, NAB, SMPTE, AES, and other professional organizations. Ampex technicians and engineers were and are among the highest sought-after, and highest-paid, workers in Broadcasting. I epitomize this fact.
Alembic never had any explosions in their main facility. Alembic workers are not getting killed there on the job, nor have I ever heard of any of them committing suicide due to being subjected to harsh working conditions.
• Recording credits for GD's Europe '72 tour:
Alembic Sound recorded the tapes for the GD's Europe '72 album. Alembic recorded all of the 16-track tapes for the entire Europe '72 tour's boxed set that Rhino recently released. Before the Dead's Europe '72 tour, Ron Wickersham modified their Ampex 16-track recorder to accept 14-inch reels, which helped minimize reel flips. He achieved this by taking the guts of the machine out of the Ampex MM-1000 audio tape deck frame and putting it into an Ampex VR-1200 video tape deck frame.
Monte Barry's Taper Compendium
This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2012-02-23 14:13:36